5 Critical Reasons You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort ZoneOct 26, 2021
I think it’s fair to say that most of us have a movie or two that we enjoy watching over and over again, but is that how you want to live your life? Think about it. If you watch that same movie every day, you’re going to end up having memorized every word each character says, as well as their tone and inflection. The depth of emotions that were once triggered for you will evaporate to a shallow puddle over time.
This same thing will happen over time in your life if you continue to live within your comfort zone, doing and experiencing the same things. Is that what you want your life to be like? Is that really why you are here in this lifetime?
So many people live their lives on a loop doing the same things, watching the same shows, going to the same places, telling the same stories, and even eating and drinking the same things. Most experiences, regardless of the frequency, tend to be things that are familiar and comfortable – things that are within their comfort zone. And even when they do venture outside of the norm, it’s typically a rare occurrence, or simply not that far of a stretch to begin with.
As a matter of fact, some people end up spending the majority of their life within their comfort zone. While it is totally natural to gravitate towards things that feel familiar and comfortable, there can be a BIG cost that goes with it. The cost is that we stunt our growth, halt progress towards our goals, and our dreams get reclassified as mere fantasies. The truth that this can lead to regrets later in life, wishing we would have taken the chance… or traveled more… or lived more… or asked them out.
So, yes, the comfort zone may feel comfortable, but ask yourself this: is there more discomfort in challenging yourself to have new experiences, learn new things and do new things outside of your comfort zone? Or will there be more discomfort in the feelings of regret for having not done those things?
The next level of growth in your relationships, health, career, energy, and impact comes from outside of your comfort zone. It comes from doing, experiencing, learning, trying new things. Yes, this sometimes involves being uncomfortable, but that is part of growing – and is okay!
The danger of continuing to not do new things, though, is that we become too comfortable and complacent. The longer we stay in that safe zone, the harder it becomes to step out of it. We forget how to deal with those supposedly negative things like failure, discomfort and stress. We become too scared or lazy to try things, which keeps us from experiencing growth.
There are endless reasons why I think venturing outside of your comfort zone is critical to living a life that honors your truth and brings you deep joy and satisfaction. Here are 5 of my top reasons:
1. You’ll discover new opportunities
When you live within your comfort zone, it’s easy to shrink yourself with limiting beliefs about what’s possible, what you are capable of, how you should be living and so on. However, magical things happen when you expand your thinking as those beliefs begin to fade and exciting opportunities for growth and expansion begin to appear. Opportunities that have always been there, but were not visible from that limited perspective.
2. It boosts your confidence
Remember when you learned to walk and talk? Well, not likely, but it is likely that you had all the confidence you needed to just start trying – and – to get up again when you fell down and keep on trying. You didn’t question your abilities, you simply kept trying until you figured it out. And then you went on to try even more new things with confidence and curiosity! It wasn’t until you started listening to the comments of others that you began to question your abilities and your confidence took a hit. When you start taking action, you will build your confidence, even when things don’t go according to plan, knowing that you tried.
3. It’s good for your brain
When you continue to think and do the same things repeat, your brain literally wires itself to make those things even easier to do. While this makes us more efficient, which is good in some cases, science tells us that it also means that we must continue to challenge ourselves to keep our brains healthy. Even something as simple as brushing your teeth with the other hand can be a great start!
4. You’ll become more adaptable
When you regularly push your boundaries by trying new things you will become more comfortable with being uncomfortable, which will help you build more resilience when it comes to adjusting to changes. Whether it’s simply a change in plans for the day or not receiving approval for the funding or revamping the vision entirely, your mind will be more open to possibilities and ready to calculate a new plan when you regularly push your boundaries. Sure, you may feel disappointment, but you will have confidence that you can and will figure it out.
5. You learn a LOT about yourself
Challenging yourself and trying new things is one of the best ways to grow and learn about yourself. When you bust out of your comfort zone and experience new things, you're going to learn about what you like, where your passions are and what you are capable of. Trying new things will also help you clarify what you don’t like, what you don’t want to do and what areas you need to continue to develop. The saying “you don’t know until you try” definitely applies here!
Now stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be a big dramatic to-do (but feel free to go big if that’s what you’re ready for!) There are small steps you can start taking today to begin to step into a growth mindset.
Here are a few examples of things you can try:
- Make one change to your daily routine. Maybe it's adding in a walk, driving a different way to or from work, or changing up your nighttime routine.
- Start a conversation with someone new. Start up a conversation with someone you may not normally talk to, like the customer service rep on the other end of the phone, a coworker or the person ringing up your groceries. Even better, you could go to your favorite restaurant by yourself, then belly up to the bar instead of a table, and strike up a conversation with the bartender or someone else dining alone.
- Pick a new activity and go do it! An art class, a new workout, a cooking class, a dance class, learn to brew kombucha, whatever. What’s the thing you’ve been thinking about for a while now? Something that you’ve been too nervous or lazy to try. No more delaying – get out there and experience it!
- Start learning a new professional skill. Working learning a new skill that’s related to your current role, the role you want, or something entirely new. Not only is this great for your confidence – and your brain – but it has the added bonus of helping you become even more marketable. A win all around!
- Visit somewhere new. Ratchet up the adventure level! Dine at (or order delivery) from a new restaurant. Walk around a different lake or hike a different state park. Travel to a new state or country. Maybe even take a road trip.
The more often you step outside your comfort zone, the easier it gets to keep pushing yourself. You’ll even discover that things are better outside of where you are right now. The only way to get there is to step out and begin trying new things.
I recognize that it’s not easy. But I am here to support you both in discovering where you could use some growth, and in figuring out which direction to push. I am here to support you through the discomfort that comes from approaching your growth edge, what I affectionately call growing pains.
You have to find the courage and the time to begin to unwind your shoulds from what you really want… and then find the courage to go after it! I believe in you and I want to support you in discovering all of this. This isn’t about being fearless – there is no such thing as being fearless. It’s about doing it despite those fears. It’s about getting comfortable being UNcomfortable because you know that that’s where you are going to live your life to the fullest.
A perfect way to start? Join my free workshop How to Create More Personal Freedom Starting Today. And if you're ready for even more, book a free strategy session with me right here.
Either way, take action to get out of your comfort zone today!
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